Friday, March 2, 2012

One step forward, two steps back: Roquemore's clueless announcement


     After the Academic Senate meeting of two weeks ago, in which Senators expressed unanimous concern about new developments in the administration’s “civility initiative,” one would have thought that IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore and Co. would take a step back. —Maybe gently apply the brakes. Offer some assurances perhaps.
     But no.
     At that meeting, senators agreed that certain elements of the notorious Feb. 2 "civility report"—e.g., the notion that any “incivility” of employees should be noted by supervisors and included in employee evaluations!—were counterproductive, civility-wise. There seemed to be agreement that the very idea of enforcing civility via a "civility statement" or district policy was a move in the wrong direction, especially considering our college's benighted history, which has left conscious employees in an ongoing state of suspicion and distrust—that, instead, we’d achieve what we really wanted by making our college a place where employees can speak up without fear of retaliation.
     So you’d think that IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore would modify his rhetoric a bit, maybe communicate assurances that the "civility" initiative is a thing warm and fuzzy.
     No such luck.
     Here’s the latest “communication” from our “leader":

TO: All Members of the IVC Community

FROM: Glenn R. Roquemore, PhD, President

RE: Open Meeting March 23 on Civility and Mutual Respect

DATE: March 2, 2012

On December 16, 2011, the Working Group on Civility and Mutual Respect was formed in response to District-wide Goal 1, “SOCCCD will create a district-wide culture which is characterized by mutual respect and collaboration and which celebrates the uniqueness of each institution.” In addition, District-wide Planning Objective 1.1.3 states, “Draft a Board policy on mutual respect and forward for BPARC review.” It is expected that the Working Group on Civility and Mutual Respect will engage the campus community in dialog regarding campus and district civility and mutual respect and develop a statement that is intended to contribute to the development of a Board Policy on mutual respect.

On Friday, March 23, 2012, from 12:30 to 5 p.m. in room BSTIC 101, the second meeting of the IVC Working Group on Civility and Mutual Respect will be held. This meeting is an open forum and everyone in the IVC community is encouraged to participate. Please arrive at 12:30 p.m. for refreshments and informal conversation. At 1:00 p.m. sharp the meeting will begin.

The meeting will be facilitated by a five-person team. Professor Lewis Long, President of the IVC Faculty Association, will be joining the four persons who facilitated the first meeting on December 16th: Classified Senate President Dennis Gordon; Faculty Senate Vice-President Jeff Kaufmann; Dean Keith (Shack) Shackleford; and John Spevak, a member of the College Brain Trust.

The facilitators will review the prioritized comments and suggestions made on December 16 (see attached) and use them as a starting point for crafting recommendations to the District's Board Policy and Administrative Regulations Committee. We will also create an action plan with specific steps to develop a culture of mutual respect and civility within the IVC community.

I will be sending another email between now and March 23, with additional information, including an agenda for the meeting.

The facilitation team and I believe this upcoming meeting will be an opportunity for an open and honest discussion about creating an environment which will enable us to accomplish positive things for the IVC community, in both the near and extended future.

If you have any questions or comments, please send them to me or to any or all members of the facilitation team. The email addresses are groquemore@ivc.edu;dgordon@ivc.edu; jkaufmann@ivc.edu; llong@ivc.edu; kshackleford@ivc.edu; john.spevak@gmail.com.

Thank you.

Very Respectfully,
Glenn R. Roquemore, Ph.D.

     It's as if the Feb. 16 meeting never happened.
     Commissar Roquemore can't even get his facts straight. He says the working group was formed on Dec. 16. According to the “Civility” report sent out by VPI Justice on Feb. 2, “the IVC Working Group on Civility… had met … on October 17, 2011....” Thus, by the time of the Dec. 16 “workshop,” the Working Group had already existed for two months, which was more than enough time for folks to figure out that no faculty union rep was included—and, indeed, that the very idea of drafting a civility statement is clueless and oblivious to fairly recent history, including our own.
     But why schedule this third meeting for a Friday—a day almost guaranteed to minimize participation by Friday-phobic IVC faculty? Roquemore might as well announce that Raghu Mathur and Tom Fuentes will be there to take pictures with your kids!
     Has the massive application of brakes that occurred at the Feb. 16 Senate meeting—a meeting attended by VPI Craig Justice, who seemed agreeable to senators' sentiments—been forgotten? How can that be?
     What on Earth is going on here?
     My God, these people are freakin’ unbelievable.

17 comments:

  1. oooh, action plan! (Can I wear tights?)

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  2. The email made no mention of a real classified rep. being included to discuss admin's potential encroachments on our contract.

    The classified senate is not our exclusive rep. and thus, have no authority to be discussing any issues within the scope of our CBA.

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  3. Resources, time, money - for what? Why not enforce the policies they have for a start, the ones they have overlooked for years because it was THEIR pals in the classrooms insulting female students and worse. Come on.

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  4. I have to give Rocky credit for opening up the discussion and including the faculty association. We need to ask how the notes we see from the meeting turned into a directive to report incivility in an employee's file. Who took that leap?

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  5. Where are those employee (dis)satisfaction survey results? Must be pretty negative if they won't release them.

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  6. I think they scheduled it on a Friday to allow participation by faculty as the majority do not teach on Friday. Now people have no excuse not to attend and contribute.

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  7. Dear 9:36 PM Please get your facts straight. A "real classsified rep" (I believe you mean someone representing the union-CSEA) was included in the initial 5 individuals representing classified staff. Unfortunatley that individual was unable, due to personal reasons, to attend the working group meeting held in December. That individual is still representing the classified staff and union concerns as a member of the civility working group. The Classified Senate and CSEA both represent classified employees and will continue to work together for the benefit of our constituants. CSEA has the exclusive bargaining rights and reponsibilities for all classified staff. The Classified Senate represents the staff on governance issues, committees, taskforces and any other areas affecting the campus or classified employees.

    Dennis Gordon, President-Classified Senate

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  8. How much more cluelessness are we going to take, folks? Time for a vote of no confidence in the clueless president and his VPI.

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  9. 9:07, respectfully my facts are straight. The professional LLR was never included in any of this. I'm sorry, but I've found e-borard members often clueless & more consumed with junketeering. Admin is exploiting the situation. The magnitude of such a proposition requires at least a professional.

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  10. Dear 1:44pm - Your response is confusing...I will try to translate your shorthand. If an LLR is a labor relations representative, our CSEA representative on the Civility workgroup was the Chief Job Steward for our chapter. I have found her to be both knowledgable and supportive to our members. If you have major concerns about the civility workgroup and any outcomes, I encourage you to attend the meeting...speak up, voice you opinions/concerns. That is the reason the meeting is open to the entire campus. On another note,calling CSEA e-board members "clueless" while remaining anonymous is the type of uncivil name-calling behavior that we need to address as a campus community. We are adults and should treat each other with respect.

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  11. I agree that 1:44's comment is difficult to understand--I do wish people would explain their explanations!
    Dennis, I sympathize with your objection to that person's "clueless" remark, made by a person who doesn't give their name. I'm often the target of such remarks myself.
    I do wish people would think through their comments and consider alternatives to broad swipes at categories of persons. Often, they clearly don't.
    There seem to be many employees who are genuinely concerned about retribution. Perhaps this reflects paranoia; but I'm not sure their fear is always unreasonable.
    DtB is valuable as a venue that allows employees to address issues without fear of retribution--but, of course, only if they remain anonymous.
    We work at a college and district where retribution and other ruthless actions have occurred in the past. Perhaps it can be hard to appreciate how awful it is to be on the receiving end of such conduct if one has never been targeted.
    Clearly, this venue (DtB) is not perfect, and if we could make it more perfect, we would. In the meantime, we can hope that people like you will respond to comments that you truly believe are mistaken or unfair.
    And let me repeat (I've said this many times): if readers suppose that a comment is mistaken or unfair, you can always contact me (Roy Bauer) and explain the situation. People have done that many times (usually non-anonymously), and I always take such communications seriously. We are committed to fairness and accuracy. Help us to secure them.
    I'm often tempted to insist on non-anonymous remarks. Believe me. The problem is that there likely really are employees and others out there that rightly feel that, in speaking out openly, they expose themselves to retaliation.
    There is a corrective to unfair/untrue remarks: point them out clearly. Make the case to the contrary. Point us to where we need to look. Etc.

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  12. Roy, you’re so full of it.

    You provoke people by defaming others then worry about retribution. The paranoia is yours. If there is any kind of retribution it’s the resentful sewage you spew in your blog. IVC would be a healthier productive place without your garbage. I am celebrating when you’re gone. You bring shame to this community, every employee and every student in this college.

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  13. Thanks for the comment, oh brave, brave "Anonymous."

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  14. Dennis Gordon is correct.

    While I do not know if CSEA and CTA members were originally invited to the Civility Workgroup and in fairness to process--this may have been a mere oversight--but Dennis Gordon did specifically include a well respected officer of CSEA to attend the Civility Workgroup as one of his appointees. This person was unable to attend.

    While I have been concerned about the issue of "appointees" to this work group, I do credit Dennis Gordon and the Classified Senate officers for including a CSEA rep as part of their process of selection.

    This was not required but a fine decision.

    I would love the ability to not be anonymous. Really. I am a fairly brave employee. I am simply wise enough to know that I cannot.

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  15. Okay, so now they've decided to "open" the process. But who has the time and energy to be part of this 5 and a half hour meeting? I do not. I have papers to grade, class prep and other committee work to do.

    Sometimes I think administration is out of step with the day-to-day responsibilities of faculty.

    I agree -we have policies that already address the most egregious behavior cited in their initial report. Yes, those policies are only selectively enforced. THAT is the problem. "INCIVIL" enforcement.

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  16. 8:49

    no one has time for these lengthy meetings

    civility also improves when there is at least a recognition that it is not just the faculty who are finding it difficult to find time for such meetings but its difficult for all college professionals to find time anymore--even classified employees.

    there may have been no intention whatsover in your comment but sometimes some people at this college need to wake up and realize that everyone EVERYONE is very, very busy running and managing and tending to our college and of course teaching our students.

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  17. Excuses, excuses. Sounds like someone is afraid to confront the people he’s been talking trash on.

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